SHRT NIWAS Vs. DELHI ADMINISTRATION
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
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(1.) In the following writ petitions :
W. P. No. 915/82 (Buta Singh)
W. P. No. 917/82 (Durga s/o Tikam)
W. P. No. 921/82 (Ajit Singh)
W. P. No. 922/82 (Darshan Lal)
W. P. No. 923/82 (Vijay Kumar)
W. P. No. 924/82 (Jagdish)
W. P. No. 925/82 (Bhagwan Jha)
W. P. No. 926/82 (Inder Singh)
W. P. No. 927/82 (Surinder Singh)
W. P. No. 928/82 (Joginder Singh)
W. P. No. 929/82 (Roshan Lal)
W. P. No. 934/82 (Ram Tahl)
W. P. No. 935/82 (Mohd. Sulaiman)
W. P. No. 936/82 (Gurmit Singh)
W. P. No. 937/82 (Sant Lal alias Pappu)
W. P. No. 938/82 (Bhola Nath) the cases of these petitioners were recommended for release by the Superintendent of Jail on their completion of 10 years imprisonment inclusive of remissions since each one of them was aged below 20 years at the date of the commission of the offence. From the affidavit in reply which has been filed in these matters it appears clearly that the only ground on which their release orders have not been passed and consideration of their cases has been deferred is that the Sentence Revising Board is yet to ascertain the date of birth and the proof of each one's age at the date of the commission of the offence. We are informed that the material in this respect would obviously be lying with the jail authorities, first the judgement of the trial court where the age must have been mentioned and secondly when these convicts were admitted to jail the doctor under Rule 101 must have noted the age of each one of them. We, therefore, feel that there is no sufficient reason why their cases for release should not have been disposed of by now. We therefore, issue a mandamus directing that all the above petitioners should be forthwith released. In case, on ascertainment of the proof of age it is discovered in the case of any one of them that he was not below 20 years of age at the date of the commission of the offence, it will be open to the Delhi Administration to move the Court in that behalf when appropriate orders may be passed.
(2.) In writ Petn. No. 932/82 (Pritam Singh), the petitioner who was above the age of 20 at the date of the commission of the offence has undergone a total imprisonment of 19 years 3 months and 16 days inclusive of remissions and unexpired period of his imprisonment is hardly 8 months and 14 days. The only ground on which his case for premature release has been deferred by the Sentence Revising Board as stated in the counter-affidavit is that the report of the Probation Officer is awaited and had not been received by the Board till its meeting held on 25-3-1982. We find from the affidavit in rejoinder an averment made to the effect that the Probation Officer's report was forwarded to the Superintendent of jail for being kept before the Board meeting that was to be held on 21-9-1981. However, there is no clinching material before us to show that the report was actually received by the Sentence Revising Board. Since, however, this petitioner has undergone a total imprisonment of 19 years 3 months and 16 days inclusive of remissions, we feel that this is a fit case where the petitioner should be released on bail forthwith. It is accordingly direct that this petitioner be released forth with on bail to the satisfaction of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Delhi. In case there is real hardship in furnishing sureties the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate may release him on execution of personal bond. In case any adverse order is ultimately passed by the Sentence Revising Board, it will be open to the petitioner to challenge that order in appropriate proceedings and it will be open to the authorities concerned to apply for cancellation of bail.
(3.) In Writ Petition Nos. 930/82 (Jaswant Singh) and 919/82 (Raghu Nath) consideration of their cases for premature release has been deferred by the Sentence Revising Board as certain reports from the Police Department as well as from the Probation Officer had not been received by the Board. Since both these petitioners have undergone total imprisonment of over 17 years and 16 years inclusive of remissions respectively, it is high time that their release should have been considered by the Board without any delay. The respondents are, therefore, directed to consider and dispose of their cases for premature release within a period of one month from today. If, for some reason, they are not disposed of at the expiry of one month from today, both these petitioners shall then stand released on bail to the satisfaction of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Delhi. In case, ultimately, the Sentence Revising Board takes a decision adverse to these two petitioners, it will be open to the petitioners to challenge that decision in appropriate proceedings and it will also be open to the authorities concerned, if they are so advised, to apply for cancellation of bail.;
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